07 Oct 14. Argentina announces SARA UAV first flight. The Sistema Aéreo Robótico Argentino (Argentine Air Robotics System: SARA) initial Technology Evaluation Model (MET 1) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) undertook its first flight, according to data published by San Martin University on 29 September. The first flight took place in August outside of Cordoba and was piloted by an Argentine Army crew. SARA is a project funded by the Argentine Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Security for the indigenous development of a family of UAVs, including tactical and strategic UAVs, a mobile command station, control, communications, and sensors. Each tactical SARA will comprise three UAVs and each strategic SARA will have two larger vehicles.(Source: IHS Jane’s)
08 Oct 14. Airbus Defence and Space has formally submitted its Atlante UAV for civil type certification – the first ever such application in Europe. The application was made to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the body responsible for certifying all aircraft designed or operated in Europe. The Atlante is a 570 kg, single-engined, propeller-powered UAV with a wingspan of eight metres of which the second example recently made its first flight. It is intended to fulfil a wide variety of commercial roles such as: surveillance of oil pipes, powerlines, railways, natural disasters, forest fires or sporting events. The company and EASA will now work together to develop a certification process for this new type of product, based on the process normally used for manned aircraft, which will set the standards for future UAV certifications in Europe.
05 Oct 14. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced a technological breakthrough that will allow unmanned surface vehicle (USV) to protect Navy ships and autonomously carry out offensives on hostile vessels, according to an ONR official statement. “Our Sailors and Marines can’t fight tomorrow’s battles using yesterday’s technology,” the Chief of Naval Research, Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder said in a statement posted on ONR website. “This kind of breakthrough is the result of the Navy’s long-term support for innovative research in science and technology,” he added. The sensor software used to develop “swarming” capabilities, enabling to surround hostile vessels and giving naval warfighters a decisive edge, is known as the Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing (CARACaS). The use of the CARACaS software technology to command the boats was first successfully demonstrated with 13 boats using remote controls as well as autonomously earlier in August on the James River in Virginia. According to the ONR, when a simulated enemy vessel was detected, the robot boats speedily swarmed around the vessel, first issuing a warning before coming closer. “This networking unmanned platforms demonstration was a cost-effective way to integrate many small, cheap, and autonomous capabilities that can significantly improve our warfighting advantage,” Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, said in the ONR statement. USV’s cost just a fraction of a single large manned ship and the program specialists believe the breakthrough will lead to expansion to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), offering protection to warfighters in dangerous missions. Meanwhile, the ONR published a YouTube video on Saturday showcasing a demo of the CARACaS software applied on the boats. The CARACaS was first used by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for its Mars rover program which began 11 years ago. (Source: Open Source Information Report/RIA Novosti)
02 Oct 14. The Boeing QF-16, being constructed at Cecil Airport, has finished its testing phase and has moved into initial production. The former F-16 aircraft are being converted into aerial targets that will be used as target practice by Air Force planes, according to Yvonne Johnson-Jones, senior communications manager at Boeing. Before the aircraft could enter productio